If you’re anything like me, you will want to give your child an extra long hug after reading A Bend In The Willow by Susan Clayton-Goldner.
This beautifully written tale tackles some very difficult subjects but I was left with an overall feeling of hope.
Part of that is in the almost poetic prose which gives the darkness its light.
Switching between past and present, it really plays a tune on the heartstrings and I had tears streaming down my face as I read the final chapter.
Here’s the blurb:
Willowood, Kentucky 1965 – Robin Lee Carter sets a fire that kills her rapist, then disappears.
She reinvents herself and is living a respectable life as Catherine Henry, married to a medical school dean in Tucson, Arizona.
In 1985, when their 5-year-old son, Michael, is diagnosed with a chemotherapy-resistant leukemia, Catherine must return to Willowood, face her family and the 19-year-old son, a product of her rape, she gave up for adoption.
She knows her return will lead to a murder charge, but Michael needs a bone marrow transplant.
Will she find forgiveness, and is she willing to lose everything, including her life, to save her dying son?
Robin Lee/Catherine’s voice came across loud and clear throughout the novel – and it changed as she did, perhaps losing some of her southern-ness as she moved to reinvent herself away from her bluegrass roots.
There is no doubt parts of it are hard to read, almost relentlessly so, but it is compelling and definitely deserves my first five star rating of the year.
Just make sure you have your hankies at the ready.
My rating: Five stars.
With thanks to Tirgearr Publishing (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for my honest opinion.